The route from Bridego Bridge to Leatherslade Farm in Bucks is the featured Great Drive in this Sunday’s (15.12) Drive section of the Sunday Times. To celebrate, we have a fresh version of the film, now with a racy B&W section:
The pub mentioned in the article, The Hundred of Ashendon (01296-651296, http://www.thehundredofashendon.com), is well worth a detour even if you aren’t chasing the shades of robbers past – the chef, Matt, produces robust, seasonal, well-flavoured food (I had the pheasant and bacon pie, my co-pilot a lovely piece of turbot) without being over-fancy. If I tell you he has spent time in Fergus Henderson’s kitchen, you’ll get the idea.
I recently did a Great Drive through rural Buckinghamshire for The Sunday Times Drive section. It was to follow the route taken by the Great Train Robbers as they took their haul of £2.6m from Bridego Bridge (off the B488) to their ill-fated choice of hideout, Leatherslade Farm near Brill. As Bruce Reynolds, chief planner, said in his memoir, Autobiography of a Thief: ‘The next morning Paddy and I set off in his 3.8 [Jaguar], driving up and around the target area. The more I saw, the more I liked it. I plotted a route which took us south in a dogleg onto the Thame Road. It was a great route, B-roads all the way, crossing two main roads in all.’ He isn’t kidding about the dogleg – in fact, there’s more doglegs in the 28 miles than Battersea Dog’s Home in January. You can read the results of following Reynolds and the robbers in The Sunday Times soon. Meanwhile, here is a short film we shot at the bridge (go full screen to see the captions properly – sadly it also makes my face bigger):
Thanks to Tony O’Keeffe of Jaguar Cars and Jagmeister Michael Byng, who brought along one of his Mk 2s. This is a rough version of the final film – although I am still hoping the moment when I tried to start the 3.8 with the cigarette lighter button doesn’t make the final cut.
Incidentally, as well as the usual outlets, you can now get the novel that started all this malarkey, Signal Red, through iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/pwmo8zj.